June 26, 2006

BANGLADESH: Opposition party officials tortured

Bahauddin Nasim was released on bail on 6 January after the High Court declared his detention illegal. Dr Mohiuddin Alamgir was released on bail on 18 September 2002. There were credible reports that both were tortured while in custody.
Bahauddin Nasim was released on bail on 6 January after the High Court declared his detention illegal. Dr Mohiuddin Alamgir was released on bail on 18 September 2002. There were credible reports that both were tortured while in custody.



Text of orginal appeal:





Original Appeal

Bahauddin Nasim and Dr Mohiuddin Alamgir, senior members of Bangladesh's main opposition party the Awami League, are reported to be in poor health following severe torture in police and army custody, and are being denied medical attention.



Detained on 28 February at Dhaka Zia Airport, Bahauddin Nasim was accused of organizing an attack on a motorcade rally of Begum Khaleda Zia (now Prime Minister) in June 2001. On 1 March he was remanded in police custody. His lawyers warned the court that he might be tortured, and the court specifically told the police that he should not be mistreated in custody. Nevertheless, Bahauddin Nasim says that while in police and army custody in Dhaka, members of the security forces tied his hands and feet and covered his head with a bag, hung him upside down from a ceiling fan and spun him around while beating him with glass bottles filled with water, and gave him electric shocks.



On 3 April the High Court ordered the police to disclose where, and under what legal authority, they had held Bahauddin Nasim and ordered that he should have a medical examination. However, on 8 April an order was issued by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court preventing the High Court from carrying out its directive. Bahauddin Nasims lawyers are seeking its withdrawal.



Dr Mohiuddin Alamgir has been charged with sedition for urging government employees to join a rally against the government in 1996. On 24 March Dr Mohiuddin Alamgir testified before the High Court that while in police custody three masked men had beaten him with lathi (bamboo sticks) and glass bottles filled with water. He said he was beaten severely on his buttocks, feet and other parts of his body, and was not allowed his medicine for diabetes.



So far the authorities have reportedly failed to investigate his allegations, or to provide him with necessary medical care. A man armed with a knife tried to attack him in his cell at Dhaka Central Jail on 14 April.



Thanks to all those who sent appeals.